You’re driving down the highway when suddenly, a deer jumps in front of your car. You hit the brakes. Luckily, the deer narrowly sneaks by your driver’s side fender, barely clearing the vehicle. You take a deep breath and think to yourself, “Thank goodness! I didn’t get into a collision!”
What you might not have realized, however, is that within every collision, there are three stages that take place: the vehicle collision, human collision, and internal collision. Luckily, you avoided impact in your deer encounter. However, if that scenario were to cause a collision, it’s important to understand what is happening to both you and your vehicle.
That’s why the team at Collision 24 has compiled this review of the three collision stages. Learn about each stage and how we can help you back on the roads around Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton.
First Collision: Vehicle Collision
The first stage is known as a vehicle collision. This occurs when the vehicle strikes another object and is most closely associated with a car crash.
As the car collides with another object, it begins to crumple and slow down. The ability of the vehicle to crumple is important, as it takes away some of the energy of the crash, thus helping to protect the people inside. Therefore, specific crumple zones are intentionally designed into every automobile for this purpose.
An entire vehicle collision—from the initial contact with another object to full stop—occurs quickly. For instance, a vehicle traveling at 30 MPH will experience the entire process in about one-tenth of a second.
While that isn’t a whole lot of time to react, there are some things you can do to lessen both the impact of the crash and personal injury. If you’re ever experiencing a situation with an oncoming collision, try to veer into an object that can absorb some of the energy, like a bush.
It’s important to remember, though, that while this is taking place, the two other stages of a collision are just beginning.
Second Collision: Human Collision
In the initial moments of a crash—when the vehicle begins to crumple and slow down—its occupants are still moving at their normal speed and direction. This continues until the occupants come in contact with an object that causes their forward motion to stop.
It is during this second stage that we see the importance of properly equipped seatbelts and airbags. Think of a moment where you had to quickly step on the brakes—maybe to avoid that deer or stop for a child chasing after their basketball. You may have been jerked forward ever so slightly, but thanks to your seatbelt, your body was prevented from going any farther.
Specifically, an unrestrained person involved in a 30-MPH crash will slow from 30 MPH to a stop in just a few hundredths of a second—with only his or her body to absorb all the energy of the impact. Depending on the severity of the collision, this could cause a person to be propelled forward and into the windshield. A person wearing a seatbelt, on the other hand, will come to a stop more gradually, as the seatbelt absorbs some of the energy from the impact.
Third Collision: Internal Collision
As both the vehicle and its occupants are slowing down, the organs and body tissues inside each person are, at first, still moving toward the point of impact. Just as in the second collision, their inertia continues to move them even as the body surrounding them begins to slow down. These internal organs will continue on their original path until they encounter other organs, bones, or the skull.
Although someone involved in an auto accident may at first appear uninjured, he or she might have sustained internal injuries resulting from this third collision. The liver, spleen, heart, or another organ can become bruised from impacting each other or other surfaces within the body. The brain can be bruised from hitting the inside of the skull, too. Proper restraint within a vehicle will help to prevent these types of serious injuries.
How to Reduce the Risk of Injury During a Collision
Now that you’re familiar with the three stages of collisions, here are some helpful ways you can lessen the risk of serious injury. Let’s take a look.
Maintain correct seat position: A seat that’s not positioned correctly could cause whiplash along with leg, back, and neck injuries. Your seat should always be positioned close enough to the pedals, so your leg is not fully extended. In the event of a crash, bent legs help reduce harm to the lower back.
Secure loose items: You may be buckled in safely during a crash. However, your belongings are not. The impact of a collision can propel these items forward, which could lead to personal injuries. It’s best to keep your belongings, like laptops and bags, secured safely inside the trunk.
Keep children in car seats: The proper car seat is crucial in keeping your children and toddlers safe in the event of an accident. You’ll want to make sure you’re using the proper seat for your child’s age. Furthermore, any child under 13 years of age should always sit in the rear seat of your vehicle.
What to Do After a Collision Has Occurred
Your vehicle has recently been involved in a crash. After addressing and ensuring you and the other occupants of the vehicle are safe and unharmed, how can you repair your vehicle?
Our collision center is here to help. We offer a wide range of body repair services to get your vehicle back in shape and on the roads safe and sound, including:
- Car detail
- Glass repair
- Bumper repair
- Paintless dent repair
Our team of professionally trained technicians will use a combination of specialized equipment and genuine parts to do the job right in no time at all. In the event that your vehicle needs more detailed repairs, we offer rental vehicles so you can get errands done or travel to work and home.
Stop by Brockton, MA’s Trusted Collision Repair Center
If your car has been involved in an auto accident, we’re here to help. Collision 24—a full-service automotive repair center serving Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton, MA—has an impressive team of collision specialists with the technology and know-how to fix accident damage.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!